Helping our kids gain the skills they need to succeed throughout their lives is something we strive towards as parents. From teaching them their first words to helping them decide which university to attend, it’s our parental duty to support our kids through their journey to adulthood. Although we can’t teach them everything, we can give them the tools and experience to get them headed in the right direction. We’ve highlighted a few key life skills to focus on, which once mastered, will likely lead to a lot of gratitude from your kids in the future.
Making the most out of each hour in the day is one of the most valuable life skills a person can have. One of the best ways to teach our kids about the benefits of time management is to use a planner. Take a moment to sit down with your kids and look at the week ahead. Go over what activities they have planned, what school projects are due, and if there are any household duties they need to complete. Have them put all their tasks in a calendar, then decide on how much time they need to complete each task and schedule that in as well. Giving our kids the chance to review the week ahead can help guide them towards making better decisions on how to spend their time. It will also keep them accountable! Maybe your child has a really busy week coming up and will need to miss a favourite TV show, but at least they will see that managing their time effectively will allow them to complete the things they need to get done.
The art of meal planning is one of those life skills that is truly a life saver for many families. Coming home from a long day at work and not having a meal ready for your hungry family is something we all know to well. Getting our kids in on planning for a few meals a week can get them into the habit of doing this on their own. Take meal planning to the next level with some Kitchen 101 lessons! Some basic kitchen skills can go a long way when our kids are living on their own and have to fend for themselves. Focus on getting your kid to master a simple recipe for each meal of the day. Something universal that they can make variations to is key. A simple breakfast omelet, a hearty lunch soup, and a one-dish casserole are great options to get started with. Your kids will thank you in the future, and you won’t worry about them living off boxed macaroni and cheese during their post-secondary stay!
Keeping it Clean
A messy room is sometimes unavoidable. Keeping a tidy space is something that takes a little discipline, and getting into the habit of picking up after yourself is best when learned early on. As parents, it’s natural to want to clean up after our kids and keep their spaces organized. However, this can lead to our kids depending on us to always do it for them. Little things like making the bed, hanging clothes right after you change, and clearing the table after meals are all tasks that kids should be able to handle. As our kids get older, teaching them how to do their own laundry will not just save you time, but it will also give them the confidence to handle this task when you’re not available – and when they’re not living at home anymore.
Ah, yes, the dreaded “your card has been declined” moment. We’ve all been there. It’s so easy to lose track of spending, especially if there’s no budget to stick to. Being smart with money, learning the value of a dollar, and how to buy the things we need versus what we want, can all be taught at an early age through an allowance. While some parents swear by the allowance method, other parents take the classic paper route approach. No matter which way you choose, having our kids understand process of working towards getting what we want is an incredibly important lesson. Once this is understood, budgeting becomes a much more attractive concept. Working with our kids on creating a budget to save towards a big-ticket item can be a huge life lesson and is one of those life skills that will stick with them for the rest of their life.
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